Our final blog for Barbara Nixon’s Introduction to Public Relations is to create a “Top Ten” list for the things we have learned this semester. I created a powerpoint in order to make my list more interesting.
Another Shot at Twitter April 23, 2009
My professor for Public Relations, Barbara Nixon, asked us to try Twitter out again for 48 hours. The first time the class was asked to use Twitter, I was extremely confused. I did not understand followers, following, or the term “tweeting.” I did not get the overall concept of what Twitter was supposed to be used for. I now understand the fascination. A person on Twitter can learn more than just what someone has planned for that afternoon. People can ask for advice and receive answers almost instantly. I actually like the fact that the characters are limited. This makes people tweet to the point, without adding in unimportant information.
At first, I was uncomfortable with “following” people and being “followed.” I thought it was a little creepy, but now I think it is great that you do not have to wait for the person to accept you, like on Facebook. Twitter is not extremely personal, so there is no need to be worried when people “follow” you. I take it as a compliment!
Celebrities and professionals in all different fields have become familiar with the site. Twitter is now heard being discussed on radio shows, the news, and even sports center. It is a great way to spread the word to many viewers at once.
For the past 48 hours I have become interested in PR professionals that are using twitter. An Atlanta site tweets information on ways to help out around the community, as well as upcoming events in the down town area. You can Twitter them @downtownatl. Growing up around Atlanta, I find this site very interesting because it helps to spread the word around about what is happening in the Atlanta area. You can also tweet them at I hope to one day become a wedding planner, which is why I have been “following” They give random tips and send out ads on how to make your “dream” wedding come true. You can read more on their Twitter @BelleWedding. This group proves that twitter can help to bring business in. The third professional I have been following can be found @BroadgatePR. There are “tweets” on surveys and tips on public relation skills. I enjoyed looking at the links they posted that were all based around journalism and public relations.
When our class first began using Twitter, I was uncomfortable and considered it an inconvenience to get on this site. Now, I find myself checking Twitter as much as I do Facebook!
You can Twitter me @laurens918.
Interview with a PR Professional April 8, 2009
I was excited when we were instructed to interview a Public Relations professional. I decided to find someone who held the position that I would one day like to have; an event planner. I compiled the notes I took during my interview, making it more of a story versus a question/answer interview. I want you, as the reader, to feel as if you are actually at the interview while reading this.
Susan Carter, age 53, works for Solvay Pharmaceutical company. She attended Auburn University, graduating with a major in Business Administration. She was hired to plan the events dealing with Solvay.
“Dallas, Texas, the Hilton Anatole. 195 guests with two large conference rooms, a 5 star restaurant on the 27th floor and 72 hotel rooms.” This is just the beginning of the list Mrs. Carter must finalize before the convention on October 12. Yes, events are planned over 6 months in advance with multiple trips taken in order to assure that everything goes according to plan. No work week is ever the same. This atmosphere is full of organization, meeting after meeting over something as simple as the table decorations, and examining suites where the corporate leaders will be staying. Carter reminisced, “The stress can seem unbearable at times. I have spent many of events solving a situation, running to cry in the bathroom, fixing my make-up, and then deciphering the next problem.”
It is extremely important to provide a hotel that is located near entertainment such as restaurants, bars, or plays for the businessmen to go to at night. Every hotel, no matter the capacity it holds, has what is called a “sales kit.” “These pamphlets have everything about the hotel; from the meeting rooms, what each bedroom contains, and even the dimensions of every room within the hotel.” The location has a huge impact on the event itself. One part of an Event Coordinator’s job is to study every angle of the hotel rooms, where the meetings will be held, and how the staff interacts with the customers. The “sales kit” helps to show the features of each section of the hotel and what is has to offer. “People remember little things, like the chandeliers in the dining areas or the generosity of the valet boys.” Mrs. Carter then went on to describe her favorite event, which was held in Las Vegas. “I was able to have a large budget for this event. We rented gambling machines for the clients to play while in the conference room. The decorations were set up to make it seem as if the group was in its own casino.”
When I asked Mrs. Carter the best way to get involved in the event planning field, she said, “I suggest you start either interning or working at a hotel. This will enable you to work with the side that hosts events.” She recalled her first job as an assistant for an Event Coordinator at a hotel. She clarified that although the salaries vary, an experienced independent may make as much as $450 a day and usually fly between 20-25 times a year. There are slow periods of the year, but at the same time there is something always to prepare for in the future. Long working hours are involved along with weekends spent preparing for the event.
Mrs. Carter said that writing is only involved when dealing with wrap-up meetings. She must fill out a form, listing all the areas where she spent money. The form also asks what went well during the event, as well as where improvement was needed. Mrs. Carter believes that staying up-to-date with technology is important for any job in public relations. “It makes a client feel more at ease if the person they hired is regularly trained in the field of technology.” Being current in this field will help you succeed.
Mrs. Carter stated that she never dreamed she would be working in this area, but she would not want it any other way. “Although there are tough and stressful times, seeing the final products makes it all worth it.”
As I was looking over my notes from this interview, I realized that this truly is the career of my dreams. I like for my life to be fast-paced. Mrs. Carter mentioned that an event planner must be ready for any situation to arise. I feel as if I would do well in this field because I work well under pressure. Leadership is required in order to produce the results needed to pull off the function. I feel as if I could meet the criteria for this career.
“Tribes” by: Seth Godin March 27, 2009
Our Public Relations professor had us watch a speech given by Seth Godin on his book called “Tribes.” Mr. Godin begins his speech by talking about how having more of anything is better. It is human nature to want more. I liked how he began showing pictures on the screen. They were funny, which kept me interested in what he was saying. His introduction discussed on how there is a shortage of leaders in the world today. Money, economic status, or race do not make a person a leader. Nothing stops someone from becoming a leader except themself.
Godin then began to speak on how it is human nature to want to belong. This brought him to define “tribes.” He stated that a tribe is a group of people that share something in common. Human beings like doing what other human beings are doing, thus resulting in a common interest. How many “tribes” do you belong to? I am a part of a sorority here at Georgia Southern, I attend a church, and I am on a softball team. Godin explains that there have been 3 main tribes since the beginning of time; church, work, and community. Everyone in each of these tribes have something in common. They are interested in the same career field, have the same faith, or reside in the same area.
There are thousands of tribes in the world. Anyone can start a tribe, and anyone can join a tribe.
Godin goes back to discussing leaders. Someone must “run” the tribe, yet he says he is picky about using the word “run” because no one likes to be told what to do. A leader must lead, the group. A leader must guide the tribe.
I enjoyed watching Godin’s speech. He was interesting and his topic made sense to me. Everyone is part of a tribe, so this was the perfect topic to speak on because everyone could relate.
Seth Godin’s speech on his book “Tribes” can be watched at http://blog.mixergy.com/seth-godin-tribe/
Top 10 Things you should Know about Job Interviews March 2, 2009
Today in our Introduction to Pulic Relations class, we discussed things we found important to know before you begin a job interview. Professor Nixon talked about her ten most important things to remember. These are the top 10 most important things I believe will help you get the job you desire. I decided on these as being most important from the facts I learned in class and by researching on the internet. I learned the mistakes I would NOT want to make by going to http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/05/12/cb.interview.misakes/index.html
- Dress nicely. Appearances do matter. Men should wear suits and ties, while women should wear suit pants or skirts. It does not matter how the people working there are dressed. You do not work there at the moment, so you need to “dress to impress.”
- Prepare a resume that is crisp and clean. Add information that is important and suits the job you are applying for. If you list contacts for the employer to call, give your contacts a heads up. Let them know that you listed them on your resume so that they will be prepared for a phone call. The worst things that could happen would be for your contact to be caught off guard.
- While in the interview, turn your cell phone completely off. It would be terrible for your phone to ring. This is a common mistake, but by turning your phone off, you are showing that you are completely dedicated to this job interview.
- Research the company you are interviewing for. Knowing the background will help you become more qualified. It is a known fact, that a potential employee that knows the background of a company has a higher chance of getting the job then someone who did not research.
- It is okay to ask questions. This shows that you are interested.
- Prepare for questions to be asked to you. These may be situational questions, so be ready to state what you would/have done during a certain issue. It is better to act as if you have already received the job. Talk as if the situatuion has already happened to you.
- Always stand when someone walks into the interviewing room. It is important to show respect. Be sure to shake their hand firmly. If you have a name tag, place it on the right side of your chest. People shake with the right hand, so they will be forced to look at your name tag, thus remember it.
- No matter what happens during the interview, stay calm. This will show that you can stay in control during difficult situations. Professor Nixon gave an example of a women would had a dinner interview. She spilled spaghetti on her shirt, but acted as if it did not bother her. After she was hired, the employer stated that she was chosen over the other potential employee because she stayed calm and did not let it distract her during the rest of her interview.
- Make eye contact. This proves that you can hold a conversation and that you have confidence in yourself.
- Follow up every interview with a “thank you” letter. Be sure to spell all names correctly. Write a letter to each person you interviewed with, instead of a letter to the entire company. Writing a letter proves that you are respectful and responsible. It shows that you are truly interested in the job.
Wag the Dog February 16, 2009
1. The characters in Wag the Dog are situational. They come up with ideas to boost the President’s numbers on the spot. For example, when the prisoner that they had to use as “Old Shoe” died, they decided to have an honorable funeral for him. Instead of finding another person to take his spot, they knew that the President would become more popular if they had a proper funeral for him. The people of America were so touched that the President moved up in the polls.
2. The PR practitioner was unethical according to the PRSA’s Code of Ethics based on his dishonestly. He did whatever it took in order to get the President re-elected. Some may see this as being hard working and respectable, but he should have been working for the good of the people instead of just the what helps the President. The entire country believed that there was a war. The movie producer and PR practitioner made the citizens belief work to their benefit. The country was in full swing with a non-existant war.
3. The logic behind the movie title, Wag the Dog is that the attention is focused on something else instead of the main situation that should remain in view. The made-up war took center stage right before the President’s re-election instead of the charges made against him. The voters of America forgot about the charges with the Firefly Girl, and instead focused on the war that the President seemed to be hadling very well.
4. In my opinion, I think that the PR practitioner has cast a positive and negative light on his role. The positive aspect is that he go the job done. He worked around the clock and succeeded in what he was hired to accomplish. On the other hand, he lied in order to achieve his goal. I feel that this has an extremely negative view on public relations. It might make clients distrustful and feel a little cheated out when it comes to fairness. Although the characters in this movie worked hard to help the President, I feel like it was not worth lying to the entire country. This movie puts a stereotype on public relations of doing whatever it takes to win, even if it comes to cheating its way to the top.
Eras of Public Relations February 4, 2009
We met in groups and each discussed the section that we read. I read “The Next 50 Years” sections of chapter two. This section was based on new technology that public relations specialists must keep up with. I chose this section to research because my career is in the future. I wanted to learn what to expect. Public relations uses a method called “social media,” which involves different site on the internet.
It was interesting to learn about the different eras throughout public relations. I was suprised that public relation tactics have been around for so long. It goes as far back as Pope Gregory XV using the word propaganda! I also learned that women have rescently become a major factor in public relations. Women make up 70% of the public relations workforce.
I have always known that technology such as computers and the internet make things easier in the every day life of a person, but I did not realize how helpful they were in public relations. Nothing can be done without technology. The boost in the economy in the early 90’s had a big increase in public relations. Companies and people had the extra money to advertise, thus needing public relations specialists.
I would be interested in learning more of how public relations came into the world. I realize that men like Ivy Lee, Edward Bernays, and Moss Kendricks have made a major impact within the public relations world, but I would also like to learn of women who have influenced this community. Women have become extremely active in today’s society, so I would like to know the influence they have had on public relations.